Crystal Palace secured a first win under new manager Patrick Vieira with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over a sluggish Tottenham at Selhurst Park on Saturday lunchtime, as Odsonne Edouard scored twice on his debut.
Despite their perfect winning record ahead of kick off, Spurs struggled to get going. The midfield diamond chosen by Nuno Espirito Santo was off the pace throughout, unable to get control of the game or feed Harry Kane and Lucas Moura ahead of them.
Kane himself never got out of second gear and was a passive observer. As a result, Spurs failed to have a single shot in the first half for only the second time in the last five years.
The visitors were given even more of a mountain to climb when Japhet Tanganga was sent off early in the second half after receiving two reckless yellow cards in quick succession.
Palace, meanwhile, were by far the stronger team for most of the game and thoroughly deserved their lead when it came from the penalty spot with just under 15 minutes to play, with Wilfried Zaha converting from 12 yards.
Edouard, signed from Celtic on transfer deadline day, emerged as the hero of the day off the bench. He needed only a few second to score his first, showcasing a true ‘number nine’ instinct by netting while off balance. But the clinical second capped off a slick team move.
Here’s a look at how both sets of players fared…
Vicente Guaita (GK) – 6/10 – Would have expected to be a lot busier but didn’t even face a shot until the second half.
Joel Ward (RB) – 6/10 – A lack of Spurs width meant he didn’t face a direct threat and enjoyed a surprisingly comfortable afternoon.
Joachim Andersen (CB) – 6/10 – Strong and commanding. Would have expected more of a challenge.
Marc Guehi (CB) – 7/10 – Stood up against Kane and came out on top.
Tyrick Mitchell (LB) – 7/10 – Went close to scoring in the second half with a chipped cross.
Conor Gallagher (CM) – 8/10 – Continued to impress following his brace last time out. The beating heart of the Palace team after growing into the game towards the end of the first half.
Cheikhou Kouyate (CM) – 7/10 – A solid force in midfield for the first 67 minutes until he was replaced.
James McArthur (CM) – 7/10 – Chased the ball down from start to finish to ensure that Spurs never managed to gain a foothold in the game.
Jordan Ayew (RW) – 6/10 – Showed plenty of energy but Palace’s best attack came down the other side.
Christian Benteke (ST) – 6/10 – Occupied the centre-backs well but didn’t really see a real chance to score his first of the season.
Wilfried Zaha (LW) – 8/10 – Looked hungry to make something happen and was a constant threat, taking players on and feeding the ball into the box. Lost his cool after a poor challenge from Tanganga. Coolly converted from the penalty spot to break the deadlock.
Luka Milivojevic (CM) – 6/10 – Like for like change for Kouyate.
Odsonne Edouard (ST) – 8/10 – Given the closing stages to make his debut and scored his first goal within literal seconds to seal the win. Then get a clinical second to make it 3-0.
Michael Olise (RW) – 7/10 – Another debutant. Had a hand in the third goal.
Hugo Lloris (GK) – 6/10 – Made a few good punches under pressure at set pieces. Should maybe have done better with Edouard’s second.
Emerson Royal (RB) – 5/10 – Struggled to contain Zaha on a baptism of fire on his debut. That severely limited his ability to get forward in support of the attack.
Japhet Tanganga (CB) – 4/10 – Had defended well but let his team down badly when he was booked twice in fairly quick succession and was sent off before the hour mark.
Eric Dier (CB) – N/A – Injury ended his afternoon after just ten minutes.
Sergio Reguilon (LB) – 6/10 – Cleared off the line to stop Spurs going behind before they did.
Oliver Skipp (DM) – 5/10 – Off the pace following what had been an impressive start to the season.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (CM) – 5/10 – Spent a lot of his time trying to protect Emerson from the runs of Zaha on Spurs’ right flank.
Harry Winks (CM) – 4/10 – Didn’t offer anything like enough in midfield, either creatively or defensively. Tactically sacrificed to boost numbers at the back after the red card.
Dele Alli (AM) – 5/10 – Struggled in an attacking sense but made a crucial block in his own box when Palace were building up ahead of steam.
Lucas Moura (ST) – 6/10 – The sharpest on the pitch in a Spurs shirt but he was constantly under pressure by Palace players swarming after the ball.
Harry Kane (ST) – 5/10 – Frustrated by a total lack of service in the first half, but he also look off the pace and a bit sluggish which stopped him from making something happen himself.
Joe Rodon (CB) – 7/10 – Played almost the full 90 minutes after replacing Dier early on and made a number of good blocks to keep Spurs in the game for as long as they were.
Ben Davies (CB) – 5/10 – Brought on to shore up the defence after the red card. Might have felt harshly penalised for a handball that gave Palace their lead but then didn’t put enough pressure on Edouard for the second goal.